Precision farming is the process of managing variations of soil, water, crop and environmental factors in a specific farm plot for optimal use of resources and reducing the cost of cultivation by focusing on site-specific requirements.One can use technology for making informed choices about the various aspects of crop production thereby achieving the best harvest with minimal effort and time.
1. Identifying variations across the farm plot
Grid Soil Sampling
You need to divide your plot of land into imaginary systematic grids; collect soil samples from each grid and get them tested. It would help you decide which crops to grow and develop a map (Soil Survey Map) of the specific manure and water requirements for each grid.
You need to divide your plot of land into imaginary systematic grids according to the yield patterns that you have observed. Identify the highest and lowest yielding sections. This along with the soil test result from above samples would let you calculate optimum input to be applied (manure, water etc) for higher yields.
You need to carry out regular monitoring of field crops and look out pest infections during the growing season. It helps you identify nature of pests, the growth rate, the amount of crops infected. This would help you adopt the right control measures.
2. Managing variations across the farm plot
Variable Rate Application
This method helps you apply varying rates of inputs in appropriate sections of your farm plot. It would improve your efficiency in application of inputs (fertilizer, water, bio-control agents), and reduce costs. For example, you can apply less water in damp patches of soil.
Mapping the yield patterns along with soil, landscape and environmental patterns would help you determine whether the management of inputs (fertilizer, water, bio-control agents), and techniques adopted are correct or any changes are required.
It is an electronic tool that collects data on crop performance for a given period. It provides an accurate assessment of how yields vary within a field. It measures and records information such as grain flow, grain moisture, area coverage. It also helps compare between hybrids and regular varieties.
The technology provides accurate, automated position tracking and recording of data and application of variable rates of inputs to small sections within larger farm plots. It allows real-time information allowing efficient soil and crop measurements.
This technology helps store different types of information in a computer (e.g. yields, soil survey maps, crop scouting reports and soil nutrient levels) and display them in an user friendly manner to help develop correct strategies in inputs application.
This technology collects information remotely (using satellites, airplanes) on crop health, moisture, soil nutrients, and crop diseases. It helps in accurate identification of variability during the growing season and helps increase yields and profit.
This includes the following specific technologies: